Sunday, January 8, 2017

Managing Clients with Trello


Keeping it Simple
Trello is a project management tool for collaborative team projects. It’s 100% cloud-based and simple to use given its virtual whiteboard and sticky notes structure. It’s also very popular with many small and medium size companies that need to manage projects across geographically-diverse teams.

At Koch Capital we use Trello for client task management, an integral part of a larger Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ecosystem that most financial advisors implement for their firms. This blog post will walk you through how Koch Capital implements Trello in our advisory practice and why the more flexible platform software approach (PaaS) versus the traditional industry-specific software approach could make sense for your environment.

Keeping it Visual
Trello is a very visual task management tool allowing users to add and tailor images across their virtual whiteboard(s). Each board is comprised of user-defined lists and each list contains specific tasks cards. For example, each Koch Capital client starts with the standard board-list-card Trello template below:


Source: Koch Capital

As part of our client on-boarding process, we tailor the Trello Task Manager (our name) template to suit the new client’s specific needs as well as train them on how to access and navigate their Task Manager from their browser and mobile device of choice.

Trello’s default task management workflow is based on a three phase model. New task cards are created and saved to the “To Do” list (leftmost column above), then are virtually lifted and dropped into the “Doing” list to be executed by Koch Capital and/or the specific client. When the task is completed, it’s card is again virtually moved from the “Doing” list to the “Completed” list for archival.

All cards and lists are searchable making present and past task specifics easy to find and review. We also use the list subscription feature extensively which allows clients to get email updates on specific tasks as their cards are moved into and out of the “Doing” list. This is a great non-disruptive way to keep your clients informed on their account activities.

Keeping it Real
Over the past three years the Trello platform has become a key client task management resource for Koch Capital as well as an integral part of our larger CRM and operational infrastructure. By avoiding advisor-specific solutions and using more open, non-industry specific software, we have developed our own unique client service platform that helps us better serve our clients and run our Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) practice efficiently.

For example, we use the Trello platform below, along with Box.com for secure, online file storage and Google Apps for spreadsheet and publishing activies, to support our robust yet adaptable cloud-based work environment.

Source: Koch Capital

Internally, Koch Capital maintains a private Client & Partner Tracking board which utilizes lists for clients, prospects, partners (vendors), blog posts & newsletters, and continuing education. Our Client list links back to the individual client Task Manager boards for quick access. We also maintain a second, private Managed Accounts Platform board to manage the investment strategies, portfolio analytics and economic data that Koch Capital tracks on behalf of our clients and their portfolios.

If you are interested in learning more about using Trello in a professional services environment, you are welcome to call me (925-526-5624) or email me at jim@kochcapital.com. For more information on how to secure this type of cloud-based platform, please review this blog post if interested.

Thank you for your time and interest…..Jim

P.S. I’m not a fan of Adele!


About Jim Koch
Jim Koch is the Founder and Principal of Koch Capital Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in the San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in providing customized financial solutions to individuals, families, trusts, business entities and other advisers so they are better able to achieve their financial planning goals. Jim sees himself as an “implementer” of financial innovation, using state-of-the-art technology to provide practical investment management and retirement planning solutions for clients.

General Disclosures
This information is provided for informational/educational purposes only. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions. Nothing presented herein is or is intended to constitute advice to use or buy any of third-party applications presented here, and no purchase decision should be made based on any information provided herein. The information contained herein, while not guaranteed as to the accuracy or completeness, has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable.
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